House panel OKs $50 million schools' bond issue


MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama House Ways and Means-Education Committee has approved a bill to sell $50 million in bonds to fund improvements to make Alabama public schools safer.

The sponsor, Republican Rep. Allen Treadaway of Birmingham, said the bill is designed to "prevent tragedies in schools" like the recent shootings at a Connecticut elementary school.

He said 46 percent of Alabama teachers are unable to lock their classroom doors. Treadaway's bill would provide $10 million to each local school system to make safety improvements such as installing door locks and metal detectors.

The bill would provide $40 million on an as needed basis for all schools.

Eric Mackey, executive director of School Superintendents of Alabama, said some schools have as many as 80 to 100 doors that need to be secured.

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